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Wood-Scott Racing – 2005 British GT Championship
Knockhill & Thruxton - A Busy And Frustrating Week

The early part of the British GT season has been a hectic time for all concerned: three races in three weeks for the GT3 runners has left everyone with a look resembling a thousand yard stare – Croft, Knockhill and then Thruxton have seen cars, teams and drivers doing more mileage than a rally raid competitor (and that’s without the racing itself!).

After the adventures at a very cold and rainy Croft it was a long haul up to Scotland’s Knockhill circuit for Rounds 4 and 5 of the 2005 British GT championship, but hopes were high for a good pair of point scoring finishes.

The racing gods though are a fickle breed and they served up weather conditions which could best be described as changeable for Saturday’s race.

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Tyre choice was something of a lottery on a wet but drying track. Threatening clouds made the choice more difficult still and the #99 car, Stuart Scott at the wheel, was one of several runners taking the cautious step of starting on full wets.

It was to prove the wrong call, the rain stayed away and the sun even poked its head around the clouds - so the handful of runners who had bravely chosen slicks all of a sudden looked like supermen, whilst the cars on wets soon found that their treaded rubber was degrading fast.

With that situation it was inevitable that Stuart would be one of the first to pit, slicks were the only sensible choice, despite a still greasy surface off line, and Steve Wood blasted back out into the race, pedal immediately to the metal.

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The #99 car was immediately on the ultimate pace and began to set some impressive times. His best, a 54.876, was just half a second slower than the race winner’s - but the blue car’s race was not destined to go the distance.

With just 15 minutes of the race to run, and the CBT backed car steadily climbing the order, Steve exited the tricky Clark Curve and ran slightly wide.

The Porsche twitched and, despite Wood’s best efforts, the back end snapped out: the initial slide was caught but the car had already reached the point of no return, the front end swiping the tyre barrier at Hislops. It was a big impact and the track was strewn with bodywork and clods of earth. Steve Wood got it together quickly though and managed to drive the car the short distance to the pits, where it was retired.

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Steve was understandably shaken and was annoyed with the incident. “It’s only my second ever accident on track and I’m still not really sure how it happened.”

A race start for Sunday looked highly unlikely, with much of the Porsche ahead of the leading edge of the bonnet strewn around the Scottish countryside, but the Eurotech crew came up trumps and the car was present and (almost) correct for the Sunday morning warm-up session.

Again though the finger of fate was pointing at the #99ers. The one part that the team didn’t hold in reserve was the underbody ducting, which had been destroyed in the accident. Torrential rain throughout the morning looked as if it would help enormously - track temperatures would have been sufficiently low not to have caused a problem - but the appearance of the sun in the Fife sky was to prove disastrous, the car retiring early on with predictable overheating problems.

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dailysportscar.comOff to Thruxton then at the other end of the UK for the following weekend.

There was a new look to the driver line-up for the Hampshire double header, with Nick Adcock (right) joining Steve (Stuart being unavailable to drive owing to other commitments). Nick of course is no stranger to the Porsche, he shared the car with Stuart at the GT Festival in Bahrain last November.

Again though the hectic schedule would play a part. The car just didn’t feel right around the bumpy but awesomely quick circuit. Confidence is a big factor here and a wayward 911 isn’t the tool to inspire that. “We can’t find a set-up we’re happy with,” indicated Steve Wood.

The net result was an off the pace Porsche and a pair of DNFs, bitterly disappointing for all concerned, just a tired and reflective journey back home remaining, ahead of a four week break in the Championship.

The Eurotech / CBT boys though don’t stay down for long – the big grins will be back at the most popular race meeting of the season, at Wiltshire’s lovely Castle Combe circuit at the end of June.

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